2008 Honey Moon Viognier

2008 Honey Moon ViognierPrice: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per the bottle “Viognier is a rare and stylish grape with golden hues and amazing floral scents. Our Honey Moon Viognier is named after the June full moon, which signifies the moment when the sweet scent of the flowers turn into young grapes, creating this lush, full bodied wine with peach, apricot and honeysuckle aromas followed by luscious honey, mango and nectar finish.

What I Think:

One of those that seems to be a Bronco Wine Co. offering but isn’t, Trader Moon is just as secretive though. They are responsible for the many other moons on the TJ’s wine shelves… Old Moon Zin, Venetian Moon Pinot Grigio, Tuscan Moon Sangiovese and Velvet Moon Cab. Regardless this Honey Moon Viognier has been one of my favorites for years and I was amazed to see that I had yet to review it. Given that I wanted to quickly rectify the situation.

This one has a great nose, like fully pollinated red/orange fruit, loaded with peaches and apricots. On the palate peach and honey are prevalent on a full bodied frame of white stony, fruits. The finish is rich and plush with ripe peaches and just a hint of sweetness. To some, this may be too much sweetness but it works well for me. Drink this one on its own or with anything, literally. This one won a bronze medal in the recent 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and is a sure thing to appear in my next Top 10 list…

Rating: Buy It

2006 Old Moon Zinfandel

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per corkd.com “LOTS of juicy cherry in the nose, along with noticeable alcohol that more breathing helps to dissipate. Hint of pepper. The taste is thick & very juicy, w/ cherry & grape dominating. It’s heartier than the 2005. At 14% it should last awhile, too, so I’m going back for a couple more bottles. Good stuff!”

What I Think:

As you may know I have been on the hunt for a good TJ’s Zinfandel for some time. After seeing this in the Fearless Flyer and on an end cap promotional placement I thought I would give it a go. It is made by the Trader Moon Wine Co. which I would presume is an exclusive Trader Joe’s operation as they are responsible for anything with a moon in it at TJ’s. Honey Moon, Purple Moon, Tuscan Moon, etc.

So the “Old Vines” designation likely raised my hopes a bit too much here as I was hoping for varietal characteristics at a minimum in this $5 bottling. Instead I felt like I found half-concocted over the top fruit flavors. A ton of cherry which is not typical of a Zin and a bit of plum and spice as well. That said at this price point I would take it over the Cline or the Ravenswood, but if I want a sure thing I’ll grab the Rocking Horse.

All in all, sometimes I know I expect too much and this may be one of them. I’ll likely grab it again at some point to make sure my initial inclinations were correct. If I do, you’ll be the first to hear.

Rating: 12th Bottle